Grade Inflation Pumps Up GPA’s by 0.1 per Decade, Scholars Find

Grade inflation has resulted in an increase of 0.1 in grade-point averages per decade, according to an article published today in Teachers College Record (payment required). The article — by Stuart Rojstaczer, a retired professor of geology, environmental science, and civil engineering at Duke University, and Christopher Healy, an associate professor of computer science at Furman University — draws on historical and recent data for four-year colleges and universities. Faculty members grade more harshly, on average, at public commuter colleges and engineering schools than at other four-year institutions, the article says, suggesting that grade inflation may explain why private-college graduates are disproportionately represented at top professional schools and at doctoral programs in science and engineering. Mr. Rojstaczer is a longtime scholar, commentator, and critic of grade inflation.

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